"GrapeVine Online" is the View Place Neighborhood Newsletter for residents located in Springfield Township, Ohio.
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES OF SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP
On May 6th, you will be asked to make a very important decision at the election polls, one that will significantly impact your community and how it can serve you.
Over the past few years, and with great consequence, the Ohio State Legislature eliminated certain taxes and voted to keep a higher percentage of your tax dollars that had previously been returned to the Township and used to provide your services. As a result, Springfield Township’s General Fund operating revenues have been cut by 53%. Because we anticipated some of these budget cuts (but not all), the Springfield Township Board of Trustees reduced operational expenditures by 35%.
However, it’s not enough. Despite these actions to reduce General Fund expenditures by more than one-third, we are still faced with the decision of either pursuing a way to replace revenue or making further reductions in expenditures by approximately $1 million dollars.
The Board believes that further expenditure and service reductions will cause irreparable damage to the Township and negatively affect property values and the quality of life for Township residents and business owners. Increasing revenues, on the other hand, will allow us to move forward with the implementation of the Township’s Comprehensive Neighborhood Master Plan. This plan expands economic development opportunities for our community through the revitalization of our neighborhoods, preservation of important resident services, and funding of vital infrastructure projects.
The result of implementing the Comprehensive Neighborhood Master Plan will be an improved economic situation for the community. In other words, businesses and residents alike, will ultimately benefit.
So, how do we replace the necessary revenues? As a Township, we are limited by State law to only two choices. We can propose a property tax increase or a Joint Economic Development Zone/District (JEDZ/JEDD).
We understand the current tax burden of Springfield Township property owners and do not want to propose additional property taxes for General Fund needs at this time. Also, because of the pressing need to improve economic conditions in the Township, creating a Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) offers the most direct route toward economic development.
Please take some time to read the enclosed information and learn about this critical decision that will shape your community for years to come. Then, please be sure to vote on May 6th. Additional information is available on the Township website atwww.springfieldtwp.org or call 522-1410 to have your questions answered.
WHAT IS SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP’S PROPOSED JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ZONE (JEDZ)?
Utilizing existing state law, the Township is proposing to partner with the City of Mt. Healthy to create a joint economic development zone (JEDZ). The designated zone includes properties in Springfield Township where businesses are located and/or individuals work, excluding home-based businesses.
The JEDZ will enable the collection of a 1.5% payroll/earnings tax on businesses and individuals who work in the zone. As required by law, the City of Mt. Healthy must collect the tax and allocate the revenue between the Township and the City based on the percentage outlined in the agreement.
The City of Mt. Healthy provided the Township with the most advantageous partnership agreement and gives Springfield Township the best option for future long-term collaborations aimed at reducing costs and dependency on property taxes.
• The Township’s General Fund operating revenue has been reduced by 53% due to actions taken by the Ohio State Legislature.
• While the Township has reduced General Fund operational expenditures by 35%, the need to replace revenues by approximately $1 million still remains in order to prevent further budget cuts that could negatively affect property values and the quality of life for Township residents and business owners.
• The JEDZ will allow the Township to implement the critical improvement strategies outlined in the Comprehensive Neighborhood Master Plan, which means expanding economic development opportunities, revitalizing our neighborhoods, preserving important resident services, and funding infrastructure projects.
• Understanding the current tax burden of Springfield Township property owners, Trustees do not want to propose additional property taxes for General Fund needs at this time.
• Many employees travel into Springfield Township each day and use and benefit from services that property owners in the Township pay for. Additionally, nearly 30% of the property in the Township is owned by a non-profit entity, which is tax-exempt and pays no property tax, but these entities also benefit from and use Township services. For these reasons, the Board of Trustees feels that the JEDZ is the most fair and equitable way to replace the necessary revenue to enable the Township to move forward with vital economic development efforts and maintain important resident services.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE JEDZ IS NOT APPROVED BY VOTERS ON MAY 6th?
• If no alternative methods of funding are identified, the Springfield Township Board of Trustees will have to consider increasing resident property taxes or making significant budget cuts.
• The lack of funding will reduce the Township’s ability to implement important economic development strategies and will require significant cuts to the services that assist the Township in recruiting new businesses, development projects, and homeowners.
• Budget cuts may include a reduction in snow removal, road repair, nuisance property enforcement, as well as the closing of the Senior & Community Arts Center and several Township parks.